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4 Ways to Dominate a Pitch Competition Win or lose, entering a contest can be a good way to meet investors. But let's be honest -- it's better to win.

By Michelle Goodman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

For Ash Kumra, winning a pitch competition yielded much more than the $30,000 in cash and professional services he received. "Contests offer instant validation," Kumra says. "That tells an investor or a sponsor that this business isn't going to disappear."

In 2010 Kumra won the Irvine Entrepreneur Forum, a pitch contest held by the Chamber of Commerce in Irvine, Calif. The win helped him launch DesiYou, a digital video distributor of Indian entertainment. Since then, he has been recognized by the White House as a young entrepreneur to watch and co-founded DreamItAlive.com, an online personal growth community with more than 50,000 members and sponsors such as Microsoft and HR provider TriNet.

Pitch slams aren't just about cash and credibility, says Kumra, who now chairs the Southern California nonprofit Tech Coast Venture Network, which runs an annual $25,000 pitch contest. Win or lose, entering a contest is a clever way to meet investors and industry bigwigs with whom you couldn't rub elbows otherwise.